Dii Desert Energy

Launched in 2009 as an industry initiative in Germany (initially called ‘Desertec Industrial Initiative’) for exploring the potential of renewables in the desert areas of Northern Africa and the Middle East, improving market conditions and examining the synergies to be captured through connecting the European and MENA power markets.

In 10 years’ time, Dii Desert Energy has grown from a rudimentary ‘Desertec Vision’, initially mainly concentrated on power from the deserts for Europe, (Desertec 1.0) via a focus on the conditions of renewables in the local markets (Desertec 2.0) toward a highly recognized market enabler for ‘green electrons’ and ‘green molecules’ from the deserts of MENA for MENA’s own population, and for MENA to become a ‘Power House’ for the world markets (Desertec 3.0). Today, Dii Desert Energy are looking at the entire power system starting with various forms of Renewable Energy (RE) generation, grids, new technologies & innovations, energy storage, e-mobility, smart cities, towards the long-term objective of ‘energy without emissions’.


Dii Advisory Board

Dear Friends of Dii Desert Energy,

Approaching the end of 2019, we can look back on 10 years of ‘paving the way’ for renewable energy and related improvements in the energy value chain in MENA and we can all be proud about what has been achieved, in conformance with our mission: ‘no harmful emissions’.

Europe and the Arab world are neighbours. Hence, it has always been an obvious idea to search for synergies and joint benefits in the transition process. But, the Arab world with its quasi unlimited solar and wind sources, is not only looking at connections with Europe. In fact, along with local emission free energy markets, MENA will soon be the best positioned region for serving the world energy markets with ‘green electrons’ and ‘green molecules’ such as Hydrogen. Transport and storage will take place through lines, cables, pipelines, vessels, trucks and a spread of storage technologies. Today we are referring to the next phase of transition as ‘Desertec3.0’. That includes: the MENA region ‘greening’ its own energy supply and becoming a ‘green power house’ for all continents!

These subjects have been discussed intensively in our annual Leadership Conference in cooperation with Ghorfa on November 25/26th. With over 300 high level attendees, the conference has been very successful. Former German Environment Minister and UNEP Commissioner Klaus Toepfer underlined the sense of urgency that is overdue to ensure access to clean and affordable energy.

Among others our new Associated Partners such as Masdar, NEOM, Masen, ThyssenKrupp and many other private and public stakeholders are the best proof that they understand that message. They are each in their own way active part of the implementation of Desertec3.0. A healthy energy future for all is, thus, in our hands. Let’s make another big leap in 2020 together!

Paul Van Son
President & CEO
Dii Desert Energy


Mustapha Bakkoury
President, Masen


"With Dii we have a common vision regarding solar energy potential and its ability to provide an answer to both energy and environmental concerns we share with the European Community. Therefore, we strongly believe that a win-win situation can materialize in the short term. Morocco, with its audacious and pro-active solar plan held by Masen, is fully committed to this vision."

Paddy Padmanathan


"The only way we can survive is to deliver energy to the lowest possible price. We in Saudi Arabia have significant renewable resources both wind and solar and they are already on a good way. We are with Dii to make that development faster."

Mohammed Jameel Al Ramahi
Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, UAE


“As a pioneer of renewable energy, clean technologies and sustainable real estate in more than 30 countries, Masdar shares the vision of Dii Desert Energy for an emissions-free power sector, technological innovation and enhanced collaboration to accelerate the global transition towards cleaner energy sources. Mitigating climate challenges relies on multilateral partnerships across the spectrum of market participants – from policymakers to investors, technology providers to lenders. Both Dii Desert Energy and Masdar are committed to advancing such partnerships as part of a long-term, holistic sustainability strategy.”

Dr. Klaus Keysberg
Member of the Exec. Board, thyssenkrupp AG


"For a climate-neutral economy, industries all over the world depend on large amounts of renewable energy. To meet this demand we have to rely on cross-border cooperation of different industries and governments. As thyssenkrupp is firmly on its way towards sustainable production, we are proud to be a partner in Dii Desert Energy´s efforts to establish a carbon free energy sector of international relevance."

Torsten Jeworrek
CEO of Reinsurance, Munich Re


"In EU we are on a crossroad, if we get more union respective energy supply or if we fall back in totally self-contained countries. I strongly vote for a United EU based on renewable energies with strong relationship with our neighbors."

Liangzhong Yao,
Senior Executive, State Grid of China, CEPRI


“Dii has been a very capable energy transition partner for several years. CEPRI is pleased to support Dii with power grid expertise for the MENA region and beyond.”

Peter Terium
Managing Director Energy, NEOM, Saudi Arabia


"By now, it is widely accepted that global warming is one of the main challenges for mankind. What I like about Dii is that it has always been ahead of the game. At its start in 2009 Dii was already pointing at the huge potential of solar and wind in the Middle East and Africa. Moreover, since a few years, Dii is promoting the conversion of renewable electricity partially into hydrogen, allowing accelerated decarbonization in particular in industry sectors that cannot easily be (totally) electrified."


Quick Links


2020 - Q3 Newsletter

2020 - Q2 Newsletter

2020 - Q1 Newsletter

Green Hydrogen for a European Green Deal

Advisory Board Brochure

Emission Free Energy from the deserts


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